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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The "Me" Time Experiment

For the past while--I'm not sure how long it's been--I've been struggling. I'd logon to the computer with every intention of working, but instead I'd procrastinate and feel guilty the entire time I was doing it. I had no real zeal or energy. I've been oversleeping--usually just a tiny bit, but sometimes a lot--almost every morning. I could hardly drag myself to work or back home again and then the cycle would begin again. To say it was discouraging is putting it mildly.

I mentioned yesterday that I'd been following a discussion on one of my published author loops about something very similar that other writers were going through. And one of suggestions for combating it was guilt-free me time. Wow. I hadn't done guilt-free me time in, well, probably four years. Even when I collapsed after the marathon of finishing a book, I felt guilty for not immediately writing. But after the way I felt Tuesday morning, I decided it was worth trying.

I'm happy to report that "Me" time was a huge success!

I took a half hour. I didn't logon to the computer, but did something just for me that had nothing to do with email or anything else electronic. It made a huge difference in my attitude and in my writing. By taking that half hour off, I got more done than if I'd struggled to get writing. After I read email, I was actually eager to get to work!

Before I sold TPOT, I always used to give myself Saturdays off. That was my day to do nothing writing related. When I signed on for my second book, though, I had to give up my day off, and taking a break has never been guilt-free since then. Even when I had surgery and was sleeping 20 out of 24 hours, I thought I should be writing in the few hours I was awake.

So I took my half hour, I was eager to write again for the first time in probably eight or ten months, and I finished the chapter I was working on! Yea! I started the next chapter, just a sentence or two, and when I got up this morning (on time) I felt more energized than I've felt in forever. I'm excited again, not just about my book, but just about life in general. Me time stays in the schedule.

Last night was the premiere of The Unit. This is an hour long show about an Army Special Forces team (Namely Delta Force, although they never used that name during the show). It stars President Palmer from 24. I don't remember the actor's real name and he'll always be President Palmer to me. :-)

I don't watch much television. It rarely holds my interest and the only show left that I watch is Two and a Half Men. I was a little worried about The Unit. Even though David Mamet was involved with the show (and wrote last night's episode), I feared I was going to see a 2006 version of The A-Team sans Mr. T.

I was wrong. This show was wonderful! Tense, exciting and I cared about the characters. Well, at least the men. There were a couple of times where I wanted to shake the new guy's wife because she was so dense, and I was not happy to see another wife sleeping with her husband's commander while he was off on a mission. But President Palmer and the new guy--along with all the tension--were enough to keep me riveted (and that's hard to do since I lose interest easily when it comes to TV.)

Anyway, I give The Unit a thumbs up. If the show can sustain what it did last night, I might have a new favorite television show. For sure, I'll be tuning in next Tuesday.